In Omaha, Nebraska, groups will find a city with a rich history, phenomenal dining scene, and flourishing fine arts and entertainment community that outshines some of the most notable destinations across the country.
“Omaha rolls out the red carpet for groups,” said Jessica Settje, tourism sales manager at Visit Omaha. “Unique experiences, farm-to-fork dining and world-class attractions provide group tour attendees with the excitement of a big city and the trademark Midwestern hospitality that can only be found right here in the center of the country.”
Throughout the city, groups will hear music spilling onto the sidewalks, enter quirky shops with boutique gifts and artwork, and revel in architecture inspired by Omaha’s ethnic and culturally diverse history. Here are four ways groups can explore — and fall in love — with Omaha.
1. Experience Omaha’s performing arts
Creativity thrives in Omaha’s high-energy arts and culture scene.
From the home of the Omaha Symphony orchestra at the Holland Performing Arts Center to Broadway productions at the Orpheum Theater, groups will find endless opportunities to enjoy an array of live performances. Local performers take the stage at the Omaha Community Playhouse, the country’s largest community theater, while younger audiences and their families can get inspired by the magic created at The Rose Theater. The Rose is home to the Omaha Theater Company, one of the country’s largest resident-only, touring and professional theater companies.
2. Indulge in cuisines from around the globe
Dining experiences for groups in Omaha provide an opportunity to interact with locals while experiencing flavors from around the world.
Groups can book a private Oktoberfest celebration, any time of year, with the German American Society, a group formed by immigrants in 1884. The one-of-a-kind authentic experience comes complete with German dancing and music, homemade Rouladen and Jägerschnitzel, and plenty of steins of lager. Similarly, groups can book a private event with the St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church to experience Greek culture right in the center of downtown Omaha. Inside the church, community members and locals serve up authentic Greek eats and entertain groups with traditional Grecian songs and dance. For more local and intimate dining, groups can enjoy homemade soul food at Big Mama’s or dine in the historic General George Crook Mansion, which can accommodate up to 80 guests for a private, sit-down dinner within the home’s museum.
3. Explore entertaining neighborhoods
Omaha’s entertaining neighborhoods pepper the city with live music, friendly neighborhood bars, quirky shops, and memorabilia from a rich history.
In the Old Market Entertainment District, groups can stroll cobblestone streets and have their pick of more than 80 unique bars and restaurants. From local pubs and iconic steakhouses to quaint cafes and jazz clubs, the Old Market is a must-stop for groups looking to enjoy a few Omaha originals within walking distance. Some downtown Omaha hotels are in or near the Old Market, providing easy accessibility.
In the Blackstone District, an entertainment hot spot full of food, drink, and history, groups can eat a Reuben sandwich on its home turf. That’s right, the Reuben sandwich was invented in this Omaha neighborhood. With an array of unique restaurants and innovative breweries, groups may discover the next great American menu staple, right here in the Blackstone District!
4. Step into history
Notable destinations in Omaha provide the chance to give back to the community, learn from locals and understand the city’s history.
Must-see attractions like Boys Town, Joslyn Castle and Lauritzen Gardens top the list. At Boys Town, a nationally recognized nonprofit focused on serving youth, groups can learn about Father Edward Joseph Flanagan’s lifelong mission of supporting families. The Joslyn Castle provides a unique look into the legacy of longtime residents George and Sarah Joslyn. The historic home, available for private or self-led tours, brings history to life through storytelling and cultural programming. Groups can explore art deco architecture and rotating exhibits at The Durham Museum and 100 acres of botanical beauty at Lauritzen Gardens.
Article by Erica Zazo
Main image: Blackstone District; Credit: Visit Omaha